Moeen hits 53-ball century in England win
|Third Royal London one-day international, Bristol|
|England 369-9 (50 overs): Moeen 102 (57), Root 84 (79)|
|West Indies 245 (39.1 overs): Gayle 94 (78), Plunkett 5-52|
|England won by 124 runs; lead five-match series 2-0|
Moeen Ali hit an exhilarating 53-ball century in England’s 124-run win over West Indies in the third one-day international in Bristol.
At one stage, Moeen took 61 runs from 14 deliveries to reach the second-fastest ODI ton by an England batsman.
Joe Root earlier made 84 and Ben Stokes 73 in the hosts’ 369-9.
Chris Gayle threatened to lead a remarkable chase but, after he was run out for 94, West Indies fell to 245 all out, with Liam Plunkett taking 5-52.
The efforts of Moeen and Gayle, coupled with short straight boundaries at both ends of the ground, saw the rope cleared 28 times, a record for an ODI in the UK.
The contest was in the balance when England were pegged back to 217-6, but Moeen shared 117 with Chris Woakes in 88 balls.
That led England to score from which they would take a 2-0 lead in the five-match series, which can be won at The Oval on Wednesday.
That game begins at 12:30 BST, with England naming their squad for the Ashes tour of Australia at 10:00.
Marvellous Moeen makes his mark
Moeen has enjoyed a stellar summer, making 361 runs and taking 30 wickets in the Tests against South Africa and West Indies, but this performance was his most devastating.
Arriving as England lost three wickets for 11 runs, the left-hander was forced into circumspection and had 39 from the first 39 deliveries he faced.
What followed was an awesome display of hitting, the ball constantly landing in the crowd as the West Indies bowlers allowed Moeen to target the on side – seven of his eight maximums went over the leg-side fence.
Moeen took only 12 deliveries to move from 50 to 100 – an ODI record – and, at one point, hit six sixes in eight balls.
He was dropped on 87 by Gayle at point and brought up his third ODI century with consecutive maximums – the 53 balls second only to Jos Buttler’s 46-ball hundred against Pakistan in 2015 in terms of fastest centuries by England batsmen.
Moeen eventually skied a return catch to off-spinner Ashley Nurse, his efforts helping England take 93 runs from the final six overs.
Stokes and Root lay the platform
Moeen seemed unlikely to get the chance to launch such an assault when Root and Stokes were effortlessly adding 132 for the fourth wicket.
They also guided England from a position of peril – the hosts were 74-3 after Eoin Morgan edged his first ball behind to continue a poor run of form that has seen him manage only 22 runs in his past nine innings in T20 and 50-over cricket.
Root clipped through mid-wicket and guided behind point, while Stokes targeted mid-on and played sweeps of all kinds against the spinners.
They exposed an error in the Windies’ team selection. A green surface and short boundaries left the leg-spin of Devendra Bishoo looking unnecessary and saw captain Jason Holder turn to the part-time medium-pace of Rovman Powell.
Powell made the breakthrough as Stokes sliced to deep cover to begin West Indies’ fightback, but then came Moeen’s brilliance.
Gayle threatens to do the improbable
West Indies’ best hope of pulling off a stunning chase was Gayle, playing in only his second ODI since the 2015 World Cup.
For a while, it seemed possible, with the left-hander smearing the ball behind point, heaving to mid-wicket and chipping Moeen’s off-spin for three successive straight sixes.
But, as he closed in on a century, his lackadaisical attitude to running between the wickets was his undoing as he failed to beat Adil Rashid’s direct hit from mid-wicket.
By that time, pace bowler Plunkett already had Shai Hope and Marlon Samuels caught behind, the latter given out on review despite little evidence to overturn the on-field not-out decision.
Plunkett later had Jason Mohammed caught at deep square leg, Bishoo slice to point and Holder held at long-off to complete his first five-wicket haul in an ODI.
Holder was the last man to fall, the 124-run margin England’s second largest against West Indies in one-day cricket.
‘I just tried to slog it’
Man of the match Moeen Ali: “I enjoyed myself. Everything happened and went my way, thankfully.
“The ground isn’t that big so it’s nice to play on it. I just tried to slog it as much as I could. It was good to contribute with the bat.”
England captain Eoin Morgan: “Our bowlers were up against it on this wicket so I thought they did well.
“West Indies are like us in they like to score boundaries but huge credit to our guys, who stuck to their plans. Gayle is one of the best players in the world and we came up trumps.”
West Indies captain Jason Holder: “We leaked runs at the death and we paid for it. We brought ourselves back into the game well in the middle stages with the wickets.
“We need to be better in the field. The players need to take the ownership on themselves, to stay on their game.”
Former England captain Michael Vaughan: “No matter what you say about Chris Gayle, he always brings something to the game.
“He just wants to bat without running. I’ve no idea why he bothers running. He’s great for the game, though. He always leaves you with a talking point – even when he’s not playing, like in the second game of this series.”